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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  April 1, 2013 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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"after words," an hour long program with guest hosts to interview authors. this week, coauthors debate each other without a host discussing
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their book "debating same-sex marriage," gay right advocate and columnist discover how they differ and why providing a road map of the country's most volatile, on going debates. >> so, john -- >> hi. >> hi, john, great to be with you. >> good to see you. >> we debated same-sex marriage across america, and, of course, now we're here with our hot-off-the press book, debating same-sex marriage, oxford university press, so let me just start with you and maybe you could share with me, again, and with the viewers here, what's the best three minute case for gay marriage? >> well, to keep it very simple, i think relationships are good for people. marriage is good for relationships. some of our fellow citizens are gay. when i say that relationships
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"are good for people," not just because they make people happy, although, that's an important part of it. we all want to live happily ever after as it were, but there's something about having someone to come home to at night, wake up with in the morning, share joys and sorrows with, be committed to, and make sacrifices for, the reason relationships are good for people is they make us better people. i'm a better person because of my, you know, ten-year plus relationship with my partner, mark. when i say "marriage is good for relationships," that's because commitment is good for relationships, but, also, marriage ties us into the larger community in a certain way. marriage ties us into our families in a certain way. my parents regard mark as their son-in-law, and that's important to sort of sustaining the family life that we have. some of our fellow citizens are gay. we can talk more about that, but i think one of the republicans we see a shift over the last 15
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years in favor of same-sex marriage and the country's about evenly divided on this issue now, about half the country, at least in the polls. now, when we look at the legs results, it's different, but in terms of the polls between 1996 when gallup started looking at this and 68% of people were against same-sex marriage and 27% were in favor, and in the last couple years, 53% in favor in 2011, 50% in favor in 2012. there's a shift there. the reason we see that is because people increasingly recognize that gays and lesbians are their neighbors, their fellow citizens, so on, and that our relationships are important to us and to our lives. >> and, yet, every time that, so far, we have four elections coming up, and this november on maryland, washington, in minnesota, and in maine, and they have spectrum, and in two states, washington and maryland,
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the legislature passed gay marriage, and it's now going to the voters to veto it or to affirm the legislature's decision. in minnesota, they are voting on a marriage amendment that marriage is one man and one woman, 30-some odd states passed that similar legislation, and in maine, for the first time, trying to actually pass gay marriage. >> uh-huh. >> it'll be an interesting election. >> it is. >> for those of us who watch marriage, and, yet, you know, up until this year, gay marriage never won in an open vote so given -- this is a real question, you know, given the simple, and in many ways, beautiful case that you're laying out for gay marriage, why do you think it has not yet -- why is there so many people who really are not on board with this gay marriage thing? >> i think it's a fair question, al e though i don't like when you call it the "gay marriage thing," it makes it sound
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trendy. maybe you think it is trendy. >> you told us it's a trend. >> i didn't mean it that way. i was talking about the trend of the graph. i think people are afraid of the unknown. i think that, frankly, your side is belter mobilizing people politically than my side has. i think a lot of that has to do with people being mobilized in the churches, you know, on sunday if the pastors tell them to protect marriage, and they're feeling unsettled about marriage because, i mean, i think one of the things you and i tend to agree on is that, you know, marriage has been in trouble in this country in recent decades in certain ways. i think the case is overstated, but i think that one of the reasons that this book works and you and i are able to sort of meet somewhere, and even though we disagree sharply in the book, we're able to at least talk to each other and understand each other better than some is that
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because we agree marriage is important. people have fear about marriage deteriorating, and they see this as yet a further threat. the natural inically nation is to say, no, no, no, and i think that inclination is waning. people realize, you know what? this is not a zero-sum game. we can give marriage to same-sex couples without taking it away from or having it deteriorate for different sex couples, and i am hopeful that in the fall, at least one of those states issue and maybe several of those states, will actually reverse the election trend and we may win, but we'll see. >> so when i asked you why people disagree with you, and still very substantial numbers, and turns out that in north carolina, it's just this year, a very decisive defeat -- >> although, there was a
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republican primary going on. we can do a political analysis of why the votes go the way they do. >> but the polling and votes are not lining up in any way. >> right. >> that's certainly true. so, again, this is a real question. do you think the reason that i've spent the last ten years debating same-sex marriage is because i'm afraid of the unknown? >> i wouldn't dare try to speak for you and motivations for why you do this. it's interesting, actually, for you to talk about why you do this, but i do -- >> let me just flag it because -- >> sure. >> because this happens a lot. particularly to people who have traditional moral understandings. >> right. >> people are more progressive, and i don't know -- you're kind of -- i don't know if you're center left or right? >> center something; right?
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>> i'm just right wing. >> okay. >> but i've just been struck my how often the only way that progressives can understand why people disagree with it is to root it in either prejudice or fear. you know, and even president obama has people clinging to god and their guns; right? those on the conservative side of the spectrum, it just -- i'm just really flagging. do you really -- do you really think that there isn't a sub substantive basis to the disagreement? given that for the average voter maybe they're not as involved in the particulars and their influences -- people who influence them, ect., is there -- is there a kind of core to the disagreement, which is not rooted in fear, but something else? >> right. so one of the reasons i wanted to do this book with you, and when oxford came to me and talked about who to get to do this with, i thought you were a
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good person to do this, is because i wanted one of the best people on the other side to sort of lay out the arguments step-by-step, and you do that in the book, and, you know, each of us has our main essays and rebuttal, and as i explain in the rebuttal, i don't think the arguments work. you don't think mine work. if i don't think the arguments work, then i need some other explanation for why a smart, thoughtful person like maggie reaches the wrong conclusion on the issue. just as i imagine if you think of me as a smart and thoughtful person, you need explanation for why, you know, is john making bad logical mistakes, or is he missing something? so, perhaps it's over simplifying it in materials of fear, but i do think that, i mean, all of us come to the debate with certain blind spots, and one of the things i think is very value l about your -- valuable about your segment of the book is that i think you
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draw attention to something that people on my side miss which is that people on your side really want to preserve a special understanding of marriage understood as this mother-father union, and that we may have moved away from that in society, and in many ways, we have moved away from that in our understanding of the law and so on of what marriage -- what a relationship needs to do in order to qualify as a marriage; right? one of the reasons, for example, we moved away from laws, you know, requires con sue mages for a marriage to be valid or contested later is because we movedded away from that somewhat, but i'm not a psychologist. i'm a philosopher. as a fill las fer, i analyze arguments and show where the arguments go wrong. >> that's fair. i don't mean to put oh on the spot. >> sure. what do you think the people on my side are missing?
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i mean -- why do you think -- i mean, because you -- >> it's not hard for me to understand why a gay man and people who are thinking about this as a question of how are we going to treat the gay friends, neighbors, fellow citizens, family members would be for gay marriage. i think it's become a symbol for many people, even people who probably are not even going to enter gay marriages. it's become a symbol of the idea, of respect for gay people and their relationships. >> you know, i want to interrupt you there because sometimes when you say "symbol," people on my side they you're dismissive. it's just a symbol for you people, but symbols are important. >> well -- [laughter] >> not just a symbol, but -- >> no, no, exactly. you know, if you come at it from a cultural perspective, you
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know, symbols are the sacred objects through which and by which we constitute reality. there's people on my side, on the conservative side who say, oh, well, you know, it's just a symbol, and, you know, it's like money is real. >> yeah. >> and question of, you know, how we're going to understand marriage moving forward is just something fluffy unless you're dealing with the legal incidence of marriage, and i do think that we have a very weakened marriage culture, and that the legal structures around marriage are weakened considerably, and that the symbolic content of marriage, actually, the -- what i call the public union of marriage, is, in fact, the most important part of how marriage actually influences the way people act and behave so that's probably one of the things that are different. >> can i ask more about this? because then you recognize that
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not just gay people, but, you know, at least in the polls, about half the country -- >> i don't think it's really half the country, but it's a big chunk of the country. >> big chunk of the country. >> big chunk. >> can't be all gay people because there's not that many gay people. >> no, no. >> i want to acknowledge our relationships as -- want to show respect to them, want to acknowledge the relationships, acknowledge us as a family unit we understand ourselves to be. how do we do that if not by marriage? how do we satisfy this real human need, not only for people to commit themselves for each other in relationships, but also to acknowledge when our neighbors, fellow citizens have done that, if not through marriage? >> well, you know, i -- there have been a lot of proposals for different ways for coming up with different relationship structures in my view. they have been mostly pretty roundly rejected by gay rights
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act visions at this -- activists at this point as separate means, not equal, can't demonstrate respect except through marriage. >> but what do you think? i want to know -- >> what do i think? >> yeah. >> i think that some of these things strick me as basic rights that need to be protected, particularly, things like seeing loved ones in the hospital. i don't think that all relationships are marriages, and i think that most adult relationships do not require legal structure, frankly. most important adult relationships, but, you know, the law regulates commercial relationship, and it touches the family mostly through dependency relationships; right? marriage is a great exception. it's not the normal usual way we build relationships with one another that matter, and the way we say relationships are important is not typically to surround with a bunch of government regulation. >> right. when we marry, we merge property
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in certain ways. there are things where the law comes into play, and you can understand why legal recognition becomes important. i mean, in some cases, crucial. >> i think it's important to some people, but the other thing, john, is if this is so important as a practical matter, why is it that when gay marriage is available, it's only really a fairly small minority of gay people who enter these relationships? >> i think that that's a complicated question, an i can speak from my own experience so i live in michigan where i'm not permitted to marry, and, in fact, we are constitutionally prohitted to have marriage or similarupon for any purpose. that's the terrible language of our amendment. mark and i have talked about getting married, say, in new york, where i'm from or another state just to -- but, you know, there are complications in terms of depending on what state you then end up living in, whether --
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>> i understand it's not legal where you live. >> okay, so even -- >> places like canada or netherlands, i mean, where we for a number of years now, and you know it looks like 10% to 15% of gay people enter legal unions. >> i think that's partly because in many cases, couples already cobbled together certain legal structures to the extent they can. we have a big expensive binder at home, and people have done that, and so there's questions about how all of that gets affected. i think it's partly because as you know, given your work over the last several decades, a marriage culture takes time to build, and, you know, when i started working on this issue back in the early -- when i started working on gay rights issues back in the early 1990s, marriage was not really on the radar. not until the mid-90s with ohio that we talked about it in a -- hawaii, that we talked about it in a serious way, and my friend, evan wilson, was working on
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this, and when evan worked on it in the 1990s, people were like, marriage? that was in part because we were simply fighting to make it legal to have intimate relations. i was an unapprehended felon in texas for a number of years. we joke about that, okay, we're not enforcing the law, how would they catch me, but for friends of mine going into law enforcement or education or the military or things like that, the sodomy laws, that was huge. >> so -- >> we were not talking about marriage. it takes time, i think, to make this part of the culture. i mean, and not just in terms of legal incidence, but papers and grandmothers saying when will you be married, make it official? that takes time to build. that's worth building for same-sex couples. >> one of the things i remember thinking about, maybe you -- you
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could talk about this better than i can, obviously, is how the fight for gay marriage has changed the culture in which gay men live internally. the debate about what it will do to marriage is somewhat theoretical, but strikes me that the prominence of gay marriage in the gay rights agenda raised men like yourself who are, you know, fairly traditional in your view of relationships within the gay context through much more prominent level than you were within your own community, and how is that played out? am i, like, making this up, or -- >> well, if i understand the question, you're saying -- >> something -- when young, was like, gay, the bathhouse culture, something repellant to him about that personally. >> yeah, sure. >> yeah, and we were dpsh it's
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an overlapping -- the cultural time period, and i just is something that occurred to me that for, and even -- i don't know what proportion of gay men want, prefer to be in a marriage-like relationship, where they want to make it legal or not. >> i think one of the reasons this caught on so much in terms of as a movement is because we recognize that people are doing this. gay men and lesbians are pairing off and settling down and having domestic lives together, and so whereas there were some -- and i, you knowings -- knowing i'm academia, there's a queer academic, self-styled queer academic who said this is, you know, co-oping us into pay tree art call institution, but people wanted to settle down, wanted the house with the white
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picket fence and so on, and i think that it was not so much john and andrew and others arguing for this, and everyone read the arguments convinced and caught on, but responding to something already in the community, but a corresponds to a human desire for companionship, i want ma sigh, and love. >> what do you think is different about, you know, you talked about the ground work for what's the same between same-sex and opposite sex relationships. leave the lesbians out of that because -- obviously, you have relatives, family, and friends in opposite-sex relationships. how do you think -- there's a lot of ways in which they are the same. how do you think they are different? >> how do i think opposite sex and -- >> loving across the gender divide. >> i think the fact that different-sex relationships
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create new life is huge. that's something you talked about in the book. this is something i acknowledge in the book, that any relationship with the capacity for doing that, that makes the relationship fraught with tremendous possibility, tremendous risk, and so that's relevant. i think it's relevant. i also think it's relevant that bridging certain gender differences, you know, whether those are biloming call, cull -- bilogical, cultural, a combination of the two, the right way to look at it, and i think that that can create challenges. i also think that, you know, the challenge -- there are challenges, unique challenges for same-sex relationships that are not acknowledged very often. the fact that so many of us -- at least for my generation, and i hope that this is changing, although, we hear enough
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terrible stories to realize it's not completely changed, certainly, that so many of us struggle to come out in the face of the thought that my feelings are sick, unnatural, deaf -- deviant, immoral, that has lasting emotional scars that i think we don't talk about because it makes us sound weak, to think that, that that affects me in any way, but you know, i came out in a time in ray context where many people believed that those -- that acting on those deep feelings i had was going to send me straight to hell, and there are plenty of people who still believe that. >> yeah, no. >> that can do a lot of damage to kids. >> uh-huh. >> the fact that we have that shared experience and a sensitivity to the experience, i think, is one of the differences, that we -- in many cases, had to fight much harder to be acknowledged merely as legitimate, and that we still have to go through coming out,
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you know, even -- if i'm on an airplane coming to an event like this, and they are like, oh, what are you doing? oh, what's it about? i have to make some decision, which, you know, at this point in my life is an easy decision. tell you about the book. >> go order on amazon. >> exactly, he's the link. [laughter] but you still occasionally sit next to the person on the airport giving you a double-take look, oh, you're one of those. that's the difference. >> no, i think that's definitely true, and, you know, i'm -- i'm an orthodox roman catholic, so i actually don't -- i hope nobody goes to hell, but it's not -- by no means a defunct position for two men to have sex with each other. >> i invite you to talk about -- >> i will in a second, after the break, which is coming up, you
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can take the lead in interviewing me. >> okay, all right. i'll hold that thought. >> yeah, by i wanted to get to this. we like to say about the book that it's the only book in the history of the world that ever has been and probably ever will be endorsed by both rick santorum and dan savage. >> that's true. >> we talked about civil debate, san savage expressed, what gay men feel about me and people who have my point of view, he says, john corvino deserves a gay medal of honor for the work done keeping cool and engaging responses in the face of bad and sometimes entouruating insulting arguments. john is like your favorite college professor. so explain how -- you're very good, and you've, obviously, chosen, maybe this part of being a professor, to engage in
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relationships with people with whom you profoundly disagree. i understand how you are pleasant and kind, as well as intelligent and passionately devoted. and rather good looking too. >> oh. >> the -- so how do you explain to other people who think it's app insult to them to sit around, be civil to people who have these views, taking me as the symbol of all of those people; right? there's people watching this going how can john act friendly and nice to such awful things -- >> my mug is filled with scotch [laughter] >> what do you say about that? >> funny you quote dan because dan is going to be doing, inviting brian brown, now the president of the national organization for marge,
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organization you cofounded, to dipper at his house, and he did so specifically, you know, brian, as you know, challenged him, you know, debate you any time, anywhere, and dan, rather than setting up the big public thing bringing in supporters, come to my house for dipper with me, my partner, and their son, d.j. -- >> and some cameras. and some cameras. [laughter] and mark who will interview them, but in part because i think that while he can be very sharp tongued at times, dan savage, and that's, in some ways, part of his charm, i also think that he understands the importance of reaching across the divide coming from a family like so much of us do, and, you know, you're in a family with a diverse group of people, some of whom sharply disagree with you on very important things. i've loved family members with whom i disagree on deeply important things in a sharp way,
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and so i think that probably if people think hard about it, they all will be able to find some people in their lives who fit that description, and, you know, for me, reaching out to you in a friendly way is not that difficult because of the shared commitment to elevate the dialogue on this, which is why we did the book together, but, also, there's one thing i understand as a gay man is that personal affection does not always line up with societal expectations because society expects you to respond to somebody in a certain way like how i should respond to women sexually, but i don't. because people expect i sit down with maggie andment to tear my hair out because i'm sitting next to the gnarl organization of marriage lady, we hit it off, get along, and that's occasion for something valuable. >> so, no, i think it's a gift
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and habit, i mean, that we live in this very polarized culture enjoying -- not hating each other, but ragging on each other, and it seems like there's increasingly small spaces for any other kind of relationship, but i do think about this a lot because i think about how different it is with abortion at this point, and, you know, in my family, they believe thingses about that, and you really have the question whether you want to be in a relationship or not. if you don't, you say, you're saying i believe in murder, how could you. if you want to be in a relationship, you say, well, you know, i understand that she cares about that issue. you know, i don't see it that way, but she's not doing this to be mean to me, but she's trying to stand up for what she thinks is right. it's like emotional work that goes on, but the clue is when you want to stay in a relationship, and when you don't, them you just want to con
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find the other perp to the outer most rings of hell so you don't have to relate to them because there's the bad people there and good people here. you come from a catholic background, atheist now, but one of the things that i attribute to catholic culture actually is this sense that, you know, we're all sinners in it together in some sense; right? i once told andrew sullivan we'll have a beer in purgatory to talk it over. he said, well, that means you think i'll get to hch eventually. i said, well, i hope so, you and me both, brotherment i don't know if that's useful, but it seems very rare now, increasingly rare. the culture seems to be invading all spaces. >> do you think it's in reality rare or more of what we see in the media reflects the kind of sound-bitish-sharp divisions? >> no, i think it's in the public culture it's rare, and in
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reality, america's a nice place. ..
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i promise i started out being in an unusual situation for the show we are co-authors not a whole stand against but let's turnover and i took the first half so you take the second so i will read a paragraph from my section from chapter to which is my opening chapter and i describe the same-sex weddings seen as the what candid anecdotists they're sweating this is probably from anxiety rather than the heat but the churches got air conditioning there wearing smart black tuxedos and the sun beats to the stained-glass windows and many are fanning themselves with their programs there are simple floral arrangements tied with cream colored with -- robin. without the absence of a
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bride would be hard to distinguish from any of their wedding. with your rebuttal, you said that last line if not for the absence of the bride, of everything that i wrote, i wrote a lot of pages in here, it stuck out and really got to you. talk about that. >> you take the woman out of the wedding except for that, it is just the same but the union of male and female, what makes this even those who have no religion is claus sites sacred the intimate connection between marriage and the generation that happen -- the grounding of our own being is enacted in front of us. i have a lot of the motion around it because i have been thinking about the subtle think i said in the book but i think this is the
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central light of the sexual revolution and i am a child of the sexual revolution i graduated from yale 92, pro-life a fiesta at the time and the really big lie is the relationship to sex and e act that makes new life with mint uniquely bear this life it is a great gift this did is in the '80s it was orthodox to feminism that tried to suppress the of the truce in what but no we haven't. i do think we can see save
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sex union as a marriage to make the distinction house seriously we will treat the phenomenon that first of all, -- first of all, the men and women have sex they often make children children, three-quarters of all births are and attended by at least one of the parents. on the one hand, this is a problem, children are hurt because when men and women do this about being married married, a children's fathers and it is costly to be the unmarried mother, it is very difficult, speaking as someone who was one for 10 years. on the one hand, those who advocate for same-sex marriage not just gay people and how do we show respect but we are simultaneously making a decision if we will institutionalize what are the worst features of the
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sexual revolution it including we live in a culture that represses our awareness of what we should be elevating that relationships between men and women have this possibility. men and women who are shaped by this reality in ways that we don't know and marriages the one institution that is designed to manage this reality to elevate it to set of a social problem it becomes the of course, i sacred ground in which we carry society for word i the think we can sustain that vision of marriage when you institutionalize the pressure from the idea that only of gay marriage but marriage equality there is no difference in the status.
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man clinging to that principle but what i started 10 years ago the idea is a mother and father not to do gave marriage but the response was how are they related? now is a rejection because that complex with the norm of marriage to quality you cannot take the woman had of the wedding and act as if nothing has been lost. >> the reason by a rope that line was a sure hand so and like it is just a wedding but i get the fact you want people to take seriously the awesome responsibility of
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space a fan of mothers and fathers to stick around for that which they create improvised loving homes for their offspring and i get that. of course, i don't believe marriage equality means there is no difference between this relationships but that they bled -- they should get equal treatment under the law. but i think we would both acknowledge boyd and josh don't need brides' that would be bad for them and for these gay men. >> it would be a challenging marriage it is not off the table. >> of wood that advocate or roulette off the table you would have to be done openly and honestly. >> if you had a daughter
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there is a guy. >> i think that would be very high risk. >> not off the table? >> no. no. you put me with the of mormon man with mixed orientation where part of that was deciding his identity who has this theology to marriage and it is understood that for him i actually know a jewish man who decided to become the orthodox jew to not marry but the same experience that your religious a duty is more important than the expression of your sexual desire. this strikes me as difficult
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and challenging but i can respect that decision is made in honesty. i don't know if you can. >> i don't know if i cannot respect it i am pro- freedom but i want people to pursue openly and honestly the kinds of relationships that are suitable as long as there are no non consenting parties being harmed. but suppose boyd and josh do not see that that way as most gave men do not but yet they found each other and find their lives are in a rich to buy the other and they find they make each other better people perk rice said that earlier but that is an important part of relationship to get us outside of ourselves. >> one thing that is very
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lovely that you do in this book you lay out a rich portrait of marriage as more than romantic love imbedded with communal norms which is actually part of what we share it is an attractive vision. >> part of what marriage is important it keeps people together in commitments for the long-haul even of the of romantic excitement waxes and wanes. talk about savaging earlier a writer writes about negative about moving in together because the person who goes over could do exciting stuff or you deal with morning press. [laughter] so the romantic excitement can wax and wane over the years but there is something
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in during and valuable and challenging the of that so boyd and josh find each other in their good for each other they want to pursue that further and include their families and that. how do they do that? do you object to there having what looks like a wedding except the bridal you think that is important. >> you put me in charge of issuing more old orders to people i don't know i am not comfortable with that. i don't think they're looking for me to tell them what to do if it were my own son here is the cross i think one of the and caretaking and commitment are always valuable and mean something.
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i respond to that with your portrait of boyd and josh the way they put together the of rolled they think it is good and should be celebrated but for me, having my son commit to living in a gay relationship for the rest of his life would not be something for me to celebrate. we would be in disagreement and the grass out to love each other across the disagreement and i think it is more challenging within your own family but it is how we live in and love across deep and moral differences. >> i was not asking you looking for advice of boyd
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and josh they build regard this but regardless of whether you believe this support is as strong as the polls say it is there is a lot of support because people want to respect the choice people are making to settle down and set up house and to commit in that way. i am asking you not that you run the world. >> i definitely do not run the world. >> but it you did and what would there be room for? >> i think structure domestic partnerships to be celebrated in families and communities in different ways. the one thing i feel very strongly about is in my
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perfect world gay people would not be afraid. and we could on the ground work of respect we have differences but we have a lot in common so we recognize each other as human beings and agree to disagree and you who believe what you believe in would build communities and to be respected members of america. that would be my ideal world. >> that domestic partnership is there not worry it is marriage by another name? >> the problem with civil unions i avoid taking a position because for me, is marriage tradition good zero
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or discriminatory? that is the question i am interested in. it is frustrating to gay people that sometimes i do come up with the 10 point* plea and but i don't think it is that relevant because of i could win them marriage debate in a cultural sense it is the union of husband and wife for a reason to strength in that connection with marriage and its role rather than adding more relationships that could contradict this model, at that point* you have a small minority of people who don't fit the model was social needs, how do we meet them but i knew it would not work
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but 10 years ago i know the you cannot buy the compromise the reason it is so difficult it is about a fundamental issue that the tradition is bigoted because it expresses that the unions are not as sacred your significant to society as opposite sex unions that could be expressed to muffle beckley but in a weaker form it says something distinctive and necessary about this kind of union and gay people are outside it not necessarily look down upon but they're not doing this thing and it is important. and i have them approved
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rate rather rapidly. the position that was taken in the homosexual yeah of lake -- love did not protect them one iota of a program when he acted on the idea of suspending is -- marriages has been dead wife in the definition of marriage when testifying for proposition viii. i feel i recognize the struggle we are in and it is a struggle over fundamentally if we can retain any understandings which are embodied with day quasi sacred institution called marriage. >> let's talk about that quasi stay. you talked about being a devout roman catholic. >> maybe not that much credit spinet may be
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orthodox. [laughter] and people assume your argument is that god says no and you don't make that argument. but could you talk about how your religious views and form what you'd do? >> i think it works in reverse side became catholic because i came to a certain understanding about marriage and what people consider the hard teachings of the church i came to believe as a result that has to be wrong to engage in a sexual relationship if you're not in a position to give your child his mother and father raising him. about 35 percent of americans hold that view but it is not prominent.
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that stems from my belief life in the womb is life i have never heard a good argument that you put that together and to get something close to the roaming catholic understanding of sex and marriage it was of small step to go. >> so that understanding? >> it is not so much but if you read my first book and nobody should have to but how wait kills family life and marriage and was cepheus when i wrote it in a wet back to the church in my late 20s because it was the only institution standing in eyes of another truce? and my faith has progressed
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since then but i was raising a son and you don't pass on moral understanding salon but who but and it is only religious people who publicly stand against same-sex marriage not because it is sociologically a writed or that the child needs a mom or a dad but because the enormous amount of criticism is directed did you oppose same-sex marriages and you need a feeling you stand with someone and for someone and religious people have a stronger motivation and networking community. but the public opposition is shrinking -- shrinking and
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for those who have a strong motivation for that truth of genesis born male and female come together for new life. >> there are married couples that cannot create new life and we talk about this in the book. an elderly couple both widowed to marry in there '70's what is the function of marriage been or is it pointless that we allow its? why do we support marriage in that context? >> from of legal standpoint every union serves the public purpose. >> house so? i think this is something we try to push each other in the book but i struggle with your position. >> everytime man and woman
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agree to be any sexual union , not so much for gay people but opposite sex couples is the court's understanding, if not intended to to be faithful it is not marital. so because i imagine a factory for producing children is a way to regulate the sexuality of men and women to end up in relationships so we don't hurt our actual children or potential children. look at the history of marriage law it is expressed over and over we did not make this up because we don't like gay people but i think if we did not have the contraceptive regulation that sex makes babies and
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they would talk about regulating lust. to say you have to create a sexual order and marriage is a pattern for creating that and if you don't then children get hurt. >> isn't the reason marriage's good for children largely because it is about committing to someone for keeps the idea that when you join together with this type of union there it -- you were there together exclusively for life because then they can count on having that. >> this is the rich and complicated subject that we do know it is not marriage per se that protects children because children whose mothers read very do not do any better than those
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raised by single mothers. >> because the divorce is disruptive and for their welfare. >> we know the gold standard from the intact biological family there is something about bringing the child's mother and father into one family rather than to separate families and i do think it has to do with the way when people are married not looking for romantic partners there is a conflict between being a good mother or father it takes a lot of energy and money and resources away from the families of the fact you are focusing your sexual and romantic tension within the family it is moving to meet
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this is called this child's view of motherhood in response to stop criticizing single mothers and the adult son who is a successful writer and his mother did a great job to reflect on what it cost her and him. the answer is complicated and civility does matter that is why those who do not cohabit over mary do better than possibly other single mothers that looks like a fairly decent second best but i do believe that children long to know what male and female love and whether or not it is excessive the female
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characteristic that if you are based outside of marriage to have to deal with wide is that my father the of meat or the people who love me not be there for me? >> as i listen to this two things strike me. one, it seems like same-sex couples and families if we have time i would like to talk about, i am not but many do but they are being made to pay the price for father abandonment by heterosexual fathers that because there is a problem where fathers don't stick around and support and love their children may cannot support relationships of people who don't fall in love and heterosexual least. >> in my view the show is taking on a woman and her
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children it's not like i try to make you pay a price but it is not marriage in my view. >> that i and stand but there are many for the lot to a knowledge just to stand behind us and that commitment but earlier you talk about moral understanding and community which struck me. >> it to the heart of what you were saying because we just have a few minutes left. >> but because you recognize a pass on moral understanding the word is important for any children
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who might to be raised so i go back if not marriage, then what? i know you feel it is not your job to do answer that. >> i would say it is more significant and it is dangerous to rely on marriage with those relationships focusing on the welfare of the children. i have concerns about deliberately creating children with the mother and father that applies to the opposite sex as well as same-sex couples and for adoption if you could replace the mother it and father you should but we
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don't have time to go into it but if i'm right about marriage that it is not in the gay people's interest to mess with the core social institution because we all need it if we believe america is a special place that it has allowed you to build a life together to. ♪ to protect that in the future we need to strengthen the marriage culture because we are headed for a serious problem of the societies in america don't know how to bring men and women together to raise the next generation. what i have not been able to get you to say is how we will strengthen it as the ideal while simultaneously being


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